Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization

Ronan L. Keane & Wei-Ming Zhang

This paper reports a conceptual design for beamed core antimatter propulsion where electrically charged annihilation products directly generate thrust after being deflected and collimated by a magnetic nozzle. The main finding is that effective exhaust speeds of approximately 0.69c (where c is the speed of light) are feasible for charged pions in beamed core propulsion, a major improvement over the estimates based on prior studies. The improvement resulted from optimization of the geometry and the field configuration of the magnetic nozzle, and is realized using a magnetic field on the order of 10 T at the location of its highest magnitude. Such a field could be produced with currently existing technology. Simulations were carried out using the Geant4 software toolkit released by the CERN for Monte Carlo simulation of the interaction of particles with matter and fields. The paper also briefly reviews prospects for production of the fuel needed for a beamed core engine.

 

Reference: Keane, Ronan L. & Zhang, Wei-Ming  (2012 January 25). Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization. Cited and distributed with permission of the author.

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